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How to become a Surgeon

avg. starting salary

Looking to carve out a new career? You should become a Surgeon… Surgeons are medical practitioners, who solely specialise in surgery. Using their medical knowledge and expertise, they perform operations to address a range of injuries, diseases and degenerative conditions. They may choose to specialise in one area, such as cardiothoracic surgery (dealing with heart and lung problems), otorhinolaryngology (ear, nose and throat surgery) or plastic surgery, for example, or in general surgery, and work in a private capacity or for the NHS. Typical duties for a Surgeon may include:
  • Talking to the patient and their families to explain procedures
  • Arranging x-rays and deciding on the best procedure for the situation
  • Operating on patients
  • Completing ‘ward rounds’ and visiting patients each day to monitor progress before and after surgery
  • Training newly qualified doctors and supervising their work
  • Completing paperwork

For anyone interested in becoming a Surgeon, an active interest in physiology and a desire to care for others are absolutely non-negotiable. Becoming a full-qualified Surgeon is a commitment that will take years to complete, and a passion for the profession will definitely be your key to success. Additionally, the majority of a Surgeon's work is carried out as part of a larger team, including other Doctors, Anaesthetists and Nurses. If you’re more comfortable working on your own, this may not be the career for you. Other key skills for a Surgeon include:
  • Excellent attention to detail
  • The ability to work well under pressure
  • Trustworthiness
  • Professional integrity
  • Excellent decision-making and problem-solving skills
  • Manual dexterity


Trainee Surgeon

Up to £22,000


Up to £60,000

Consultant Surgeon

Up to £100,000

"Being a Surgeon isn't quite as glamorous and dramatic as you see on TV, but that doesn't mean it’s any less rewarding. Every day we’re working to help improve people’s quality of life, which feels pretty great. My favourite part of the job is going on ward rounds, and seeing people recover from surgery and get better is a great feeling. My advice to any aspiring Surgeon would be persistence. It’s a highly-competitive industry to get into, and it takes a long time to become qualified. But when you see the gratitude on someone’s face after a life-changing operation, all the hard work will be worth it."

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